Let’s talk about trust; specifically, trust in God and His Word. One of the most important lessons we need to learn in life is that God has a plan for our lives — after we are born again and filled with the Holy Spirit — that supersedes any plan that we may be pursuing. The big lesson to learn here is to “let go and let God”
One of my favorite characters in the entire Bible is David, who in my opinion was one of the greatest men to walk on this earth. He was the greatest of all the kings of Israel, and there was a reason for his greatness: It centered on “trust!”
In his early teen years, the sheep field was David’s church, where he developed a heart for God and trusted Him to the point where virtually everything he touched “turned to gold.” Even bears and lions could not stand up to him. That was his lifestyle — TRUST!
Then something dramatic happened to him one day. He was summoned from the field by his father, and there was Prophet Samuel ready to pour anointing oil over his reddish blonde hair. As the oil ran down his handsome boyish face, the Prophet announced, “By the direction of Almighty God of Israel, I anoint you the next King over Israel.”
And then came the experience of a lifetime for the appointed shepherd-king — GOLIATH: Two feet taller and 400 pounds heavier than the tallest and heaviest NBA player.
Twice a day for six weeks Goliath instilled frantic fear into the army of Israel — including King Saul. David happened to be visiting his brothers on the battlefield and saw what was going on. Noticing that nobody in the army was challenging Goliath, he rose up and declared, “I’ll take care of him.”
He approached him with a sling shot declaring ( paraphrased) “You come to me with a big body, a big mouth, and pounds of armor and weapons, but I come to you in the name of the God of Israel, and He will give me your head.“ And God did! David let go and trusted God!!
What about you? Are you trusting — or are you just “hoping so”? Let’s get out of the “hope-so club” and trust Him. Let go and let God. He will never fail us! GLORY!
Let’s be gloriously blunt: the ministry of physical healing was never intended to be an option in the Christian church. One of the most prevalent commands by Jesus to the disciples was to heal the sick. If there were no other scriptural support, this fact alone would make the healing ministry qualify as a viable part of the Great Commission.
When Jesus laid out His charge before the disciples, it included “Teach them to observe (obey) all that I have commanded you…” (Mathew 28:20). One of these commandments is recorded in Luke, Chapter 1, as He sent out the seventy followers on a mission assignment. Paraphrased, He said, “While you are there, heal the sick!”
What was the real purpose or significance of Pentecost? We get a clear answer by observing the course of events after the Holy Spirit fell on that exciting day. Before His ascension, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit for the clear purpose of empowering the Body of Christ – the church – to carry on the same ministry He practiced while physically present on earth. According to our text Scripture, the church would be involved with an even greater ministry! WOW! Do you believe it?
This introduces an interesting question: By what authority was the healing ministry eliminated from some main-line church ministries, and declared to be “not for today”? It is certain that directive did not originate with the Holy Spirit or the Word of God. The reality is, ministering to the temporal needs of God’s people is a definite responsibility of the Church and should be an objective second only to salvation.
It is a historical fact that the successors to the twelve apostles carried forward the ministry and power of the Church of the Book of Acts. In 165 AD, Justin Martyr wrote a vivid description of demons being cast out by the power of the Holy Spirit, and believers routinely being healed in the mighty Name of Jesus.
Irenaeus, writing in 200 AD, “Those who are in truth His disciples, (are) receiving grace from Him, in His name to perform miracles … by laying their hands on them they are made whole. Yea, moreover, as I have said, the dead have been raised up and remained with us for many years!”
Origen and Clement wrote exciting reports of the power of the second and third century church. Then moving on down in the timeline, documents are prevalent to show that men like Martin Luther and John Wesley had strong commitments to the healing power of Christ, and they practiced it.
But in recent centuries we have gone the opposite direction. We have even come to the point where some Christians equate suffering in sickness with suffering for “Christ’s sake”. There is no comparison. Sickness is often described by those same people as the “cross we must bear.” Not so! The cross that Jesus invites us to take up and carry is taken up voluntarily, and we can lay it down if we so choose.
Then of course, Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” usually surfaces to add fuel to doubt: Why didn’t God heal Paul?” is the usual query. The answer is simple … Paul wasn’t sick! Nothing within the context of 2 Corinthians 12 even hints at a physical problem. The scripture states clearly that the “thorn” was “a messenger (angel) of satan sent to buffet me.”
The great church leaders like Chrystosym, Augustine, Luther, Calvin and others, all referred to Paul’s “thorn” as repeated and continual nagging and harassment incited by satan and his messengers to demean Paul in the eyes of the Gentiles he was trying to win to Christ. The sickness concept is strictly man’s invention, and cannot be found in church teaching prior to the 20th century.
Here’s a painful thought: because of this erroneous doctrine, just think how many of God’s people have actually allowed Paul to stand in the way of their healing. It would break the great Apostle’s heart.
Beloved, Jesus, our Lord and Messiah, is interested in you as a whole person. He shed His Blood for your salvation, and took agonizing whip lashes on His back for your healing. He has not only promised to heal you; He has already accomplished that healing. So cast aside your doubts and believe in Him to make you whole!
Then take His healing word and His healing power to the people around you who need it. Remember our text scripture and its promise: “He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall He do also.”
You have a healing ministry. Now go fulfill it!
“And The Lord God said, if you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will not permit any of the diseases to be brought upon you which I have permitted to be brought upon the Egyptians; for, I the Lord, am your healer.” Exodus 15:26 (Direct Hebrew Translation)
There are many truly fine born-again Christians today who are floundering in a theology that keeps them doubting the wonderful mercy of God; particularly in the area of physical healing. I don’t recall ever meeting any Christian who does not believe that God can heal; but I have encountered many who will not believe that God will heal them – or that it is always His will to heal the sick. This latter group has been taught to believe in God’s ability, but not His mercy.
The problem is, man’s concept or idea of God is considerably stunted. We have listened for centuries to what man says about God, and these words often are classified under something called “Theology.” And the trouble with theology is it enlightens and tells man all about God’s power, but it often ignores, puts down, or outright denies God’s desire to use His power on man’s behalf.
It is foolish for us to put all our confidence in what man says about God and totally ignore what God has to say about Himself. He announced from the very beginning that He was a healing God, and our text is one of many examples. David, in the 103rd Psalm writes, “Bless the lord O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; who pardons all of our iniquities; who heals all of our diseases.” (NAS).Psalm 107:20 says, “He sent His word and healed them …” (NAS). John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”(NAS), and that Word was Jesus, “Who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil.” (Acts 10:38, NAS).
Regardless of what may appear to be the immediate cause of any illness, the origin of all sickness and disease goes back to the high treason of original man. When Adam sinned, he immediately died spiritually, and sickness came into the world riding on the back of that spiritual death. And since Adam’s sin was not God’s will, how can any of the evil results of sin be His will? The truth is, beloved, sickness in any form is never the will of God. In 1 John 3:2, the Apostle John writes, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.”(KJV).
Just before He ascended to Heaven following His resurrection, Jesus commanded the disciples to go and preach what he had commanded them and He said, “And these signs shall follow them that believe (that’s us): In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (Mark 16:16-18,KJV).
He said, “I am the Lord who healeth thee.” And He also said, “I am the Lord; I change not.” Are we ready and willing to listen to what God says about Himself? Are we ready to believe Him?
It is imperative that we answer those two questions correctly. You see, believing faith is the hand that reaches up and takes what Our Lord freely offers; and that most certainly includes healing. So reach for it!
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This week, Jake Sprinter has challenged us to post photos that represent the word “captivate” to us. Jake defines “captivating” as that which influences “by some special charm … or irresistible appeal.” The following two photos show my two eldest grandsons. Wesley, who is a math professor, is pictured with his lovely family. Just looking at them gives me great pleasure. I find the photo captivating. The second photo is of his younger brother, Winston, who is an attorney with a firm in the Midwest. He is pictured here receiving a thankful hug from a local pastor after Winston battled a lawsuit and brought in a significant victory for the church. I am extremely proud of both of these young men and find them and their contributions to the world “irresistibly appealing.”
To join in the fun, visit Jake’s site: http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/
To join in the fun, you can visit this site for the details:
John 15:11,12,17 — “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you. … These things I command you that you love one another.”
Generally speaking, Valentine’s Day is reserved for spouses, children, grandchildren, and possibly a couple of friends. But let’s expand our love boundary and take a look at God’s love. Here is a love that has no boundaries; never did have boundaries; never will have boundaries.
God is the source of love, and He directs us to love as He loves. Take a look around you. Do you love your neighbor – your fellow employee and boss – your mother-in-law???
On this Valentine’s Day, let’s expand our boundaries and greet everybody with the salutation of “Happy Valentines Day – and – God’s blessings upon you and yours!”
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I borrowed this artwork from Jim Sutton at Gospelgifs.com to share for Jake’s challenge this week. Jesus Christ and His love are the MOST ONGOING and dependable things in the universe. He is the same: yesterday, today, and FOREVER!
To take part in the fun of Jake’s challenge, visit his site here:
“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope: It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:21-23).
Compassion and mercy are one and the same word in the original Greek. Both words refer to feelings and actions that are prompted by love of the subject, regardless of his endeavors or lack thereof. Mercy is a gift, free and clear. When Jesus Christ of Nazareth walked the earth, bringing us the exact image of God, He was “moved with compassion” when He saw hurting people and met their needs. Whether people were sick, in need of deliverance, struggling with sin, or in need of physical sustenance, they called on Jesus for “mercy.” That mercy healed their bodies, delivered them from demonic bondage, forgave their sin, and fed them by supernatural supply.
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